Category Archives: Core Values


Recently, I have become a Board member and Entrepreneur in Residence of Yes!Delft, the leading European Hardware Incubator.

As Entrepreneur in Residence (EiR) I help startups with their challenges by sharing experiences and best practices in different areas. hereby, I can rely on my own experiences in order to provide the entrepreneur with solutions. I aim to create a comfortable and confident setting for the startups in which the startups can openly talk about their company.

Yes!Delft is one of the most active accelerators and incubator in the Netherlands right now.


Based out of Delft, YES! Delft is a tech incubator that helps entrepreneurs to build leading technology companies. They help in turning promising technology ideas and teams into solid startups and grow them to successful companies.Moreover, YES! Delft offers access to mentors, experts, investors and partners who share their know-how and experience with entrepreneurs.

What Innovators Do

Successful innovators don’t delegate creative work. They do it themselves!


The ability to innovate is key to business success. It all starts with research, or “discovery activities” as HBR calls it : associating, questioning, observing, experimenting, and networking. They claim that successful innovators spend more than 50% of their time on discovery activities during which they engage both sides of the brain. It is more than the cognitive skill of being right-brained. You need to leverage both right AND left side of the brain.


Associating is the ability to successfully connect seemingly unrelated questions, problems, or ideas from different fields. New ideas blossom at the intersections of diverse fields. Fresh inputs trigger new associations. As Steve Jobs has frequently observed, “Creativity is connecting things.” Associating is like a mental muscle that can grow stronger by using the other discovery skills. As innovators engage in those behaviors, they build their ability to generate ideas that can be recombined in new ways. The more frequently people attempt to understand, categorize, and store new knowledge, the more easily their brains will naturally and consistently make, store, and recombine associations.


Innovators constantly ask questions that challenge common wisdom. “The important and difficult job is never to find the right answers, it is to find the right question”.

Ask “Why?” and “Why not?” and “What if?”

Innovative entrepreneurs are likely to challenge assumptions. Innovative entrepreneurs like to play devil’s advocate. “My learning process has always been about disagreeing with what I’m being told and taking the opposite position, and pushing others to really justify themselves,” Pierre Omidyar said. “I remember it was very frustrating for the other kids when I would do this.” Asking oneself, or others, to imagine a completely different alternative can lead to truly original insights.


Discovery-driven executives produce uncommon business ideas by scrutinizing common phenomena, particularly the behavior of potential customers. In observing others, they act like anthropologists and social scientists. “Often the surprises that lead to new business ideas come from watching other people work and live their normal lives”. Innovators carefully, intentionally, and consistently look out for small behavioral details—in the activities of customers, suppliers, and other companies—in order to gain insights about new ways of doing things.


Unlike observers, who intensely watch the world, experimenters construct interactive experiences and try to provoke unorthodox responses to see what insights emerge. Innovative entrepreneurs engaged in active experimentation, whether it is intellectual exploration, physical tinkering, or engagement in new surroundings. As executives of innovative enterprises, they make experimentation central to everything they do. One of the most powerful experiments innovators can engage in is living and working overseas. HBR research revealed that the more countries a person has lived in, the more likely he or she is to leverage that experience to deliver innovative products, processes, or businesses.


Devoting time and energy to finding and testing ideas through a network of diverse individuals gives innovators a radically different perspective. Unlike most executives—who network to access resources, to sell themselves or their companies, or to boost their careers—innovative entrepreneurs go out of their way to meet people with different kinds of ideas and perspectives to extend their own knowledge domains.



Perspective Acquisition

This journalists gets it:

Ultimately, it should be about people. No one individual builds a brand, a brand is built by a group of people working together towards a common goal. And this came up in my conversation with Yasmina. Peter and Aletta Stas wanted to be certain that in selling the company, they would not simply be leaving their team high and dry. There is no shortage of people with money out there who want to own a watch brand, so the challenge really became finding a buyer who valued the same things that they did. And in Citizen, they found the right fit. So to be clear, no redundancies, no terminations – things stay as they are. The agreement is that the Stas team will stay on for five (5) years to ensure continuity and continue the projects that are already in motion. In addition, the people behind the scenes will be staying on as well. Now I am fairly certain that the number I heard was five (5) but in fairness I was making an espresso just at that moment (it was early here at Tempus Fugit HQ), but I am fairly certain that was the figure.

The shock waves are that the days of the mighty, all-knowing, all-powerful Swiss group might be over.  At a time where brands are laying off staff then spending millions on America’s Cup sponsorships and the inevitable wining, dining and gifting that go along with it to keep the retailers and press members purring, this is a completely different approach.  This is a brand that put its PEOPLE above its own vanity.

News travels fast, you may have heard already, we hope to inform you personally about the acquisition of our company.

We have been approached in past to be taken over. Until last year, we never engaged in such discussions as we had idea that our children may take over in future. By now, we know that both our children do not want to work in the company, we started to have discussions with the two groups that approached us last year.

After a year of deep discussions, we felt best with one group in terms of expectations and strategy. This group required, specifically, to keep both us and the current management team in place for at least 5 years. Within this group, we will be the largest Swiss entity and we will continue to operate independently.

The group that will take over is Citizen Watch, a strategic watch industry buyer that has over 125 subsidiaries. Citizen has a reputation for innovation and letting its subsidiaries manage themselves independently. Coincidentally, this completes a circle for our company as Frederique Constant started with an order from a Japanese customer. The company has always had strong relationships with Japan and we feel good about long-term collaboration and continuity within the Citizen Group.

Today we are doing the official announcement and attached is our letter for our employees and stakeholders.

We are exited about this next chapter of our company. Thank you for your continued support and sharing this journey with us.

Best regards,

Aletta and Peter Stas


Education, Training, Coaching, Motivation, Challenge, Opportunities, Learn by doing.


At Frédérique Constant, we recognize that any company’s most valuable asset is its workforce. Nowhere is this more true than within our organization, because we actively seek a highly diverse range of talented individuals who must be exceptionally passionate about their craft in order to join our team. Personal development must be one of our core values if we are to retain the best of the best. At Frédérique Constant, we think it’s important for employees to grow both personally and professionally. It’s important to constantly challenge and stretch yourself, and not be stuck in a job where you don’t feel like you are growing or learning. We believe that inside every employee is more potential than even the employee himself/herself realizes. Our goal is to help employees unlock that potential. But it has to be a joint effort; you have to want to challenge and stretch yourself in order for it to happen.



Even though we’re all on the same team, every one of us has different needs, whether socially, domestically, or educationally. Recognition is one thing, but policies that permit and encourage personal development are a different matter entirely. We empower our people when they learn by doing, accept new challenges, and take advantage of the opportunities to grow as employees and as people. We believe that by learning and growing together, and applying our skills and knowledge collectively, we will ultimately triumph over our less-dynamic rivals in the marketplace.


Relationships, Team Spirit, Partnering, Happy Together, Balance, Trust.

For any relationship in life to be truly successful, there must be a certain amount of give and take. A good relationship is a two-way street, whether the relationship is personal or professional. Any time the traffic is all one-way, or all give and no take, the relationship is bound to suffer and ultimately fail. With this in mind, Frédérique Constant has made cooperation one of the core values upon which the company commits to base all its relationships. Our employees are willing to cooperate with each other, even when that means they have to adjust and/or do more. All disciplines need to work in harmony and closely together to realize success together. Everybody understands that accountability is a cornerstone of successful cooperation. The company makes every effort to provide a happy, healthy environment. Our employees cooperate with each other in a spirit of teamwork, and by doing so they bring honor and success to Frédérique Constant as a company and to themselves as individuals.

The best team members have a positive influence on one another and everyone they encounter, they strive to eliminate any kind of cynicism and negative interactions; they focus, instead, on creating harmony with each other and whoever else they interact with. This attitude of team spirit and cheerful cooperation is a valuable step toward cultivating happiness and inspiring trust in each other and in our company’s mission. We firmly believe that if our employees are happy in their work, if our agents and the 2,800 outlets around the world who sell Frédérique Constant watches are happy with our products, our after sales service, and if our customers are pleased with the high-quality, handmade watches we produce, then the company will thrive and continue to grow. Our desire is to make a positive and lasting impact on the global community. Toward that end, we cooperate with charitable foundations. We have done so with pleasure and pride, and we will continue to cooperate with heart related charities that can help people around the world—particularly children—who are in need.



To be truly successful in business and in life, I believe that we must always be honest and open with our customers, our agents, our distributors and our employees. I believe that openness and honesty make for the best relationships because it leads to trust and faith. Strong and positive relationships that are open and honest are a big part of what differentiates Frédérique Constant companies from most other companies in the Swiss watch industry. Strong relationships allow us to accomplish much more than we would be able to otherwise. Without honesty and integrity, our company could not truly succeed. A key ingredient in strong relationships is to develop emotional connections. It’s important to always act with integrity in your relationships, to be compassionate, friendly, loyal; to make sure that you do the right thing and treat your relationships well. The hardest thing to do is to build trust, but if the trust exists, you can accomplish so much more.

honestyIn any relationship, it’s important to be a good listener as well as a good communicator. Open and honest communication is the best foundation for any relationship. But remember, at the end of the day, it’s not what you say or what you do, it’s how you make people feel that matters the most. In order for someone to feel good about a relationship, he/she must know that the other person truly cares about them, both personally and professionally. At Frédérique Constant, we embrace diversity in thoughts, opinions, and backgrounds. We must always listen with sincerity and give new ideas equal ground on which to stand and be tested. The more widespread and diverse your relationships are, the bigger the positive impact you can make on our company, and the more valuable you will be to our company. We want everyone to always try to go the extra mile in encouraging thorough, complete, and effective communication.

We resolve to communicate openly, to respect others, to be fair with everyone, to shun politics and to maintain a down-to-earth approach in our efforts to interact with each other. Furthermore, it is very important for us that all ‘walk the talk’, do what you say you are going to do. As the company grows, communication becomes more and more important. Everyone needs to understand how his/her team connects to the big picture of what we’re trying to accomplish. No matter how good the communication is, it’s one of the weakest spots in any organization.

Integrity, Open Communication, Transparent, Down to earth
Respect for others, No Politics, Fairness.


Practical, Fast, Focused, Simple, Flexible, Save Cost

To achieve continued growth and to remain profitable, we recognize the need for the company to show the highest levels of efficiency at all times and at all levels of the business. As one of our core values, efficiency is vital to the success of Frédérique Constant. Every gear in the company is turned more efficientlywhen the work is focused yet fast, practical yet economical, flexible yet simple. Frédérique Constant has always been about being able to do more with less. When everyone works together in balance, the time flows as smoothly as any of our luxury watches. We believe in hard work and putting in the extra effort to get things done. We believe in operational excellence, and realize that there is always room for improvement in everything we do. This means that our work is never done.

efficiency1    efficiency2

If you’ve followed Frédérique Constant for some time, then one thing is clear: our company is growing. We grow because we take on new challenges, and we face even more new challenges because we’re growing. It’s an endless cycle, and it’s a good thing: it’s the only way for a company to survive. But it can also feel risky, stressful, and confusing at times. Sometimes, it may seem that new problems crop up as fast as we solve the old ones (sometimes faster!), but that just means that we’re moving — that we’re getting better and stronger. We must all learn not only to not fear change, but to also embrace it enthusiastically, and perhaps even more importantly, to encourage and drive it. We must always plan for and be prepared for constant change. We must never lose our sense of urgency in making improvements. Higher efficiency means using our passion and creativity to work smarter instead of only harder. Many companies find it difficult to merge creativity and efficiency—they can coexist, and they do so beautifully in our workshops. We are continually thinking of creative ways to become more efficient without sacrificing the quality that has become synonymous with the name Frédérique Constant.